Cholla Elementary and Cactus Middle Schools have become leaders among public facilities in Pinal County with the installation of a set of solar arrays that provide electricity to help power the schools.
- The Cholla solar energy facility produces enough electricity in one year to power 33 homes and over the system lifetime will offset the amount of CO2 absorbed by over 6000 trees.
- The Cactus current 340-kilowatt array produces enough electricity in one year to power over 42 homes, and over the system lifetime will offset the amount of CO2 absorbed by over 7500 trees.
- Additionally, a future 520-kilowatt expansion planned at Cactus will produce enough electricity annually to power an additional 65 homes, and over the system lifetime offsets the amount of CO2 absorbed by over 11,750 trees.
The solar arrays were installed and leased with SolarCity as a result of a grant provided by APS that resulted in no out-of-pocket costs to the District. The facility will provide electricity to Cholla and Cactus at a guaranteed rate of 9 cents per Kilowatt hour for 15 years. Teachers and students at both Cholla and Cactus can monitor the power produced via a monitor that was installed at each school.